As we move ever closer to the heart of the festive season, we start flicking through the TV guide for a bit of festive film fun...only to find there's nothing good on. So let's countdown the best Christmas films that are worth watching.
BBCs Flintstreet Nativity
A somewhat cult classic of Christmas cheer. For anyone who has ever been in or forced to watch a school nativity play, this is for you. With adults playing the parts of children (made to look small with the aid of large props and clever camera angles) and an all star BBC cast, this is a witty look back at all those school nativity plays we used to go to. All the nativity cliches are there Tea-towel headdress shepards and all.
Jingle All the Way
Oh yes, Pre-Governor Arnie at his comic best. As a mattress executive who forgets to buy his boy a Christmas present. Only to find it's the best selling (and sold out) toy in history. Comedy ensues, obviously, with running battles with a traffic cop and a mafia-like mall Santa gang.
It's a Wonderful Life
This is often voted the Christmas No.1 classic film, but call us old fashioned, suicide, everyone forgetting you, bankruptcy, partial deafness etc. shouldn't be the bulk of Christmas cheer in a film. It redeems itself with a profound Christmas message (at the end).
Home Alone 1 & 2
With it's bad-guys working through a house of booby-traps you can see why some call it Die-Hard for kids. Home Alone 2 cashes in fully on the Christmas period by setting it in New York, with Rockefeller Centre, Wollman Ice Rink and the Plaza Hotel featuring heavily. Even a Cameo from President-Elect Donald Trump. A Kids Classic.
Lampoons Christmas Vacation
Chevy Chase at his prime, as a father desperate to give his extended family the perfect Christmas. In the process electrocuting a stray cat, setting fire to the tree and an armchair, kidnapping his boss and making his neighbours lives hell. A comedy Christmas Classic. Watch out for Johnny Galecki from the Big Bang Theory as the young son!
The Santa ClausE
Tim Allen stars as Scott Calvin, a toy executive who accidentally kills Santa on Christmas Eve, when he knocks him off his roof. Persuaded by his son to finish the nights deliveries, Scott fails to read the terms of his new job and ends up as the new Santa.
The Bishops Wife
It's full on Christmas cheer, with Hollywood suave men Cary Grant and David Niven!
David Niven is the Bishop of a New England town, who in his zeal to build a new cathedral, looses sight of his family, wife, congregation and faith. Prayers for help result in the arrival of Dudley (Cary Grant) an Angel with charm and powers to help. Comedy intertwined with Christmas messages and a stellar cast make for a warming Christmas Movie.
Muppets Christmas Carol
The most told and reworked Christmas story ever, given a light-hearted and unique muppet twist. With a powerful performance by Michael Caine as Scrooge and catchy musical numbers, this is an entertaining look at a Dickens classic.
Watch out for a shop sign in the final musical number, that has Michael Caine's real name on it "Micklewhites".